Zakery James and Rebecca Shamis, both in the Class of 2016, have been awarded grants to travel to Nagpur, India in Spring 2014 by the Center for Global Health.
More information about the two students can be found below.
James, a second year dental medicine student, has a strong desire to make an impact on public health dentistry in rural and low resource settings. He co-founded the MUSC chapter of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) and hopes to use AAPHD as a launching pad for trips to Central India and other underserved areas around the globe.
James will travel to Nagpur, India in the summer to provide dental health services at Lighthouse Children’s Home, a small orphanage in the city. In serving communities of need, he hopes to gain a thorough understanding of the proper methods to assess the full spectrum of oral health care and its effect on population health over time.
“The MUSC Global Health Trainee Travel Grant not only has awarded my team and me valuable financial assistance for extensive travel costs to India, but the grant application process and timeline offered a concise, constructive platform to organize our thoughts, desires and goals into deliverable objectives for our project,” said James.
Shamis is traveling to Nagpur, India in spring 2014 to provide oral health care to an orphanage in the region. She will assist a group of roughly 20 students to perform extractions, operative work, and oral hygiene procedures under the supervision of licensed dental professionals, in compliance with American Dental Association standards.
Shamis is a second year dental medicine student and co-founder of MUSC’s chapter of American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD). She currently serves as Community Service Chair for both the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) and Delta Sigma Delta Dental Professional Fraternity. Shamis is looking forward to gaining a clearer understanding of dental public health in a low resource setting by traveling to rural India.
“I believe that learning to be culturally competent is a skill that is hard to obtain in a classroom,” said Shamis. “It requires knowing where people are coming from, acknowledging and accepting that we all stem from different life experiences. Traveling abroad and spending time with community members allows us to see not only what is different about the people we are caring for, but what we have in common with them.”